The Greek word "presbuteros" meaning "elder," used 72 times in the New Testament, provided the name for the Presbyterian family of churches which includes the Reformed churches of the world, both names designating churches of the Calvinist tradition.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is distinctly a confessional and connectional church, distinguished by the representation of elders, laymen and laywomen, in its government. Presbyterians are Believers and Doers:
WE BELIEVE in the Great Ends of the Church, as set forth in our Book of Order: "the proclamation of the Gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness; and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world."
WE BELIEVE in the theology of mission, as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith. "... Christ hath commissioned his Church to go into all the world and to make disciples of all nations. All believers are therefore under obligation... to contribute by their prayers, gifts, and personal efforts to the extension of the Kingdom of Christ throughout the whole earth."
WE DO mission and its related functions in "good Presbyterian order" through the structures of our General Assembly, synods, presbyteries and local churches which provide accountability in a connectional system. Presbyterians are Serving and Caring People Beyond our border we engage in mission and relations in partnership with churches and ecumenical bodies of 87 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.
For more information please visit Presbyterian 101 - What We Believe